A year after the Gold Spa shooting in Atlanta, GAR hosted a gathering of 60 participants, staff and adult/youth members, from 15 grassroots organizing organizations of working-class Asian organizations. We Keep Us Safe presented the work that GAR member organizations have been undertaking to combat violence against and within Asian communities. The forum gave participants the opportunity to discuss more deeply progress and challenges to building community based responses that do not rely on police and carceral systems. You can listen here for a recording of the Building Lasting, Effective and Just Responses to Violence Against Asians presentations and discussions.
Chinese Progressive Association - San Francisco shared how they are building community response teams, Desis Rising Up & Moving lifted up their work on gender justice and tackling gender-based violence, and SEAC Village highlighted Black-Asian solidarity as central to their response to violence against BIPOC communities. All organizations covered their work on the community-led alternatives to policing models to address violence against Asians and violence within their communities. We left the night grappling with the amount of labor it takes to do this kind of work and the challenges we must navigate, but also inspired to deepen our connections and continue the work.
We know that interpersonal violence is rooted in institutional and systemic racism, white supremacy, capitalism, heteropatriarchy, and xenophobia. Anti-Asian violence is not a new phenomenon in the United States, and we have many lessons to draw from AMEMSA communities who continue to experience Islamophobic violence and discrimination more than 20 years after 9/11. We continue to seek solutions and navigate the challenges of mitigating interpersonal violence while grounding us in the long and steadfast fight against systemic violence and inequality that enables interpersonal violence.